Wednesday, April 13, 2005

...And...Back from AERA...

Just back from AERA in Montreal. Got up at 4 today, got to the airport at 5, and nearly an hour and an undressing later, was through customs. On to Philly, and then Indy, tooled up I65 with great alacrity (or as much as mon ancien Toyotee can muster), in time to get coffee and cookies for my wife's MFA defense. Her stories and novel together are wonderful. Off to an agent, I say, and so do others. All the best to you dear, you deserve it now!

Pixie, our dying pup, is still okay...phew.

AERA was wonderful. Sherman Dorn has said on his blog that he did not attend a session, but that is not a problem. AERA is a Tower of Babel, or as Brian Ellerbeck of TC Press says, a Carnival of Cognition. There are so many cross purposes and languages, and longings there. Education is such a manifold area, how can you capture it?

I spoke to several publishers about my Schweitzer book. Jim Garrison and I chatted with Brian about our reverence and education book (Brian: the idea is fuzzy, do some more work with it). It was great to meet Sherman Dorn in person about the editing of Ed Policy Analysis Archives, a journal whose board I have been on since the founding of it. Sherman is more than capable as the new editor, he is going to really run with it.

Had coffee with Walt Gmelch, now ed dean at U San Francisco, a wise man about academic leadership. Great to share ideas and discuss career trajectories. And then a meal, like last year, with the inimitable Lloyd Bond of Carnegie. What a funny guy, so warm and generous. I hope this is an AERA tradition, food and laughter with Lloyd!

I didn't get enough time to chat with Nick Burbules. We overlapped only a day, and both of us were busy that day. I want to think more about Nick's idea of a home page portal, like MyYahoo, for folks in social foundations of education. I will get the details and discuss later on this blog. But since Nick is only a few miles of cornfields away, I am sure I can find a time to get over for UIUC's Higher Ed Collaborative lunchtime series to chat more. We have the idea of doing a group blog for P-16 ed issues, sorta like Crooked Timber or The Valve, but of course different, gotta be, but we are still percolating on the idea.

Charlene Haddock Seigfried, professor of philosophy and American Studies at my institution, Purdue, and just two floors up from me, got the John Dewey Society Award. It was great to see her there, and hear her gracious words. Charlene is in Rome this year with her husband Hans, a philosopher at Loyola Chicago. Her work on pragmatism and feminism will fit in well with my Dewey seminar this fall. I really want to somehow, in the space of a semester, move from Emerson and the Romantic origins of Dewey's thought, right up to the aesthetic late Dewey. But I also want to focus on the new Dewey scholarship, and will read Ray Boisvert, Jim Garrison, Phil Jackson, and Larry Hickman.

Last year, when AERA was in San Diego, there were multiple sessions on NCLB. I didn't really crack open the program this year, as I was there only for a short time, but I sensed that NCLB was not as discussed. There is still an overriding concern about educational accountability, especially about how this is creeping into higher education with the Horowitz/ABOR stuff going on. I may be wrong about NCLB's relative lack of exposure this year, I need to examine the program more carefully. I know that Dave Berliner continues to do wonderful critiques of high stakes testing, as I reviewed his latest report.

Stop, brain is mush, need some sleep. Back to finishing the editing on my journal's next issue tomorrow. And then the book projects. G'night...our two tabbies, Gia and Hazel, are back up here with me. Good to see them.

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